‘This is the day we lost our innocence’

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Al Noor Mosque, Deans Ave. Christchurch - GOOGLE STREETVIEW

 

Queenstown’s mayor has described Friday’s terror attack in Christchurch as a “terrible, terrible event”, as those participating in this weekend’s Relay for Life paused to remember those who lost their lives.

A moment of silence was held at the start of the event in Queenstown today, led by Mayor Jim Boult.

“I’m sure, like you, I watched these events unfolding, firstly thinking ‘this can’t be true’,” he told the crowd.

“This will, to borrow a phrase from World War II, go down in history as New Zealand’s day of infamy.

”This is the day we lost our innocence, this is the day we lost the ability to say we are separated from the terrible events that go on elsewhere in the world.”

A vigil at Queenstown’s lakefront is planned for 7pm Wednesday.

Holi Festival, which was set to take place at Warren Park tomorrow, has been postponed due to the shootings.

A 28-year-old man, Australian-born Dunedin resident Brenton Harrison Tarrant, has appeared in court this morning charged with murder after Friday’s Christchurch mosque shootings.

He has been remanded in custody without plea until April 5. Forty-nine people are confirmed dead -41 were killed at a mosque near Hagley Park, seven at Linwood, and one died in hospital.

More than 40 people were hospitalised with a range of injuries, including a critically hurt 5-year-old boy flown to Starship.